Is Eating Chicken Healthy For You?
Chicken is one of the most popular types of poultry meat in the world. It is widely available and easy to prepare and also easily found in a number of preparations and varieties. Chicken is a popular option when it comes to lean protein, as it packs a considerable amount into a single serving without a lot of fat. Though chicken is a common dietary staple, you may be still unsure about just how healthy it is.
Chicken comes in many cuts, including breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks. Each cut contains a different number of calories and a different proportion of protein to fat. Here are the calorie counts of the most common cuts of boneless, skinless chicken per 100g (3.5-ounce) serving:
- Chicken breast: 165 calories
- Chicken thigh: 209 calories
- Chicken wing: 203 calories
Chicken makes a fantastic substitute for red meats. A great source of protein, the meat has been linked to a variety of health benefits:
Stronger Bones and Muscles
The lean protein in chicken is an excellent source of amino acids. Our bodies use amino acids to build muscle tissue, something that is particularly important as we age. Studies have also shown that higher protein intake helps to maintain bone mineral density. Eating chicken can help to build stronger muscles and promote healthier bones, decreasing the risk of injuries and diseases such as osteoporosis.
Weight Management and Heart Health
Research suggests that 25-30 grams of protein per meal can help us feel more full. Protein rich meals can make us feel fuller despite us eating less, which helps to promote better weight management. Healthier weight leads to improvements in risk factors for heart problems such as high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. A food rich in protein, chicken can help with weight management and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chicken contains the amino acid tryptophan, which has been linked to higher levels of serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) in our brains. The tryptophan levels in chicken aren’t high enough to make you feel instantly euphoric, but studies show it could help to boost serotonin levels when paired with other factors.
- Chicken is rich in an arrangement of important nutrients and can be an excellent addition to a healthy, well-rounded diet.
- Chicken is low in calories but high in protein, it may be especially beneficial for weight loss, if that’s a goal for you.
- Increased intake of protein may enhance feelings of fullness, helps weight loss, and help maintain lean body mass.
- When put together with resistance training, protein can also help promote muscle growth.
- Protein is involved in calcium metabolism and important for optimizing bone health.
- Chicken is highly nutritious and a good source of protein. Adding chicken to your diet may help support weight loss, muscle growth, and bone health.
- Baked chicken is rich in important nutrients and being low in fat and calories, it is a great dinner option, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
- However, it’s important to choose healthy types of chicken and opt for cooking methods like baking, grilling, steaming, or stir-frying rather than deep-frying.
- Note that eating the skin or using unhealthy cooking methods adds calories.
- Be sure to enjoy chicken as part of a balanced diet, beside a variety of other healthy protein-rich foods.
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